Gladius Fights VI New Hampshire
On June 29th, Gladius Fights will bring their sixth installment to the Notre Dame Ice Arena in Berlin, NH. Gladius CEO Ryan Ciotoli and his crew have been running Mixed Martial Arts events in Up-State and Western New York for nearly a year now, and this will be the promotion’s first foray outside of the Empire State. Gladius held their first event in September of 2012, a Pro-Am fight card, at the Cattaragus Indian Reservation in Irving, NY. The next few Gladius events were all-Amateur events held in Ithaca and Rochester New York. “We’ve been looking forward to coming to New England,” said Ciotoli. “That has been a part of our plan since the beginning.”
The fight card will feature a blend of Professional and Amateur Mixed Martial Artists from the North East as well as the local North Country. The Main Event will see a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter Marc Stevens (Watertown, NY) facing Lewis Corapi, fighting out of the Sityodtong gym in Boston. Stevens, from Jiu-Jitsu Nation, brings a 14-7 record to the cage, while Corapi has a record of 5-0. Ciotoli sees a seasoned veteran (Stevens) and a rising prospect (Corapi) taking center cage. “This is a 50/50 fight; the best conditioned guy will win,” said Ciotoli.
Greg Williams sees two top regional guys coming to the mountains for and “old west showdown”!
The Co-Main Event will treat the fans to a Light Heavyweight battle between Pittsburg, NH native Kevin Haley and NorthEastMMA regionally ranked fighter Steve Skrzat. Haley began his Mixed Martial Arts career with a 2-0 Amateur slate before winning his Pro debut just a few months ago. Now at just 1-0, he will be facing a very tough challenge in Steve Skrzat, who trains out of Tri-Force MMA in Rhode Island. Skrzat brings a 6-5 record that has been chiseled against some of the region’s best. Greg Williams shared his thoughts on the local fighter. “He’s not wasting any time. Kevin chose the toughest fight because that’s the kind of fighter that he is.” A win over an opponent like Skrzat will put Kevin Haley on the regional radar in just his second Pro fight.
The featured Fight of the event will see Taylor Trahan (1-0, Team Link North) and Amran Aliyev (3-1, Team Bombsquad) meet in a battle of Pro Featherweights. Trahan, who was born and lived most of his life in Littleton, NH, had fifteen Amateur fights, and looks at this fight as his homecoming. “Yeah, I was born in the old Littleton hospital. My dad’s business is in Littleton, NH. Berlin is right in our back yard. I can’t wait to fight in Berlin!” Greg Williams sees Taylor as a tough young fighter with a bright future…
In Amran Aliyev, Trahan has his hands full. Aliyev is Bombsquad trained and brings a 3-1 record from Ithaca, NY to Berlin, NH. He made his Pro debut on Gladius I back in September of 2012. Much like Trahan, he had many Amateur fights before turning Pro, and he never backs away from a tough opponent! Both Trahan and Aliyev are just 22 years old and each is looking to make an impact on the Featherweight division.
The Main Event of the Amateur undercard features local fighter and regionally ranked Lightweight Brett Trahan (8-2) putting his top five ranking on the line against Pennsylvania wrestler Bekzod Abdurakhmonoz (5-0), who is recently transplanted in Boston where he has been training at Sityodtong. These are two of the NorthEast’s top Lightweights hooking it up for their final Amateur contest. Bekzod is a former college wrestler from Clarion, and he doesn’t want to lose to a local fighter out of Vermont. Brett Trahan isn’t planning on finishing second in front of his home town crowd either!
The featured fight on the Amateur card will see Vovka “KGB” Clay (4-2, Team Triumph, Nashua) bring his regional top ten ranking to face Ithaca, NY Featherweight Anthony Jerome (3-1, Bombsquad). Clay is a strong wrestler training out of one of New Hampshire’s best BJJ camps, Team Triumph; he is currently ranked ninth at Lightweight, but is making his move down to Featherweight. Jerome is Bombsquad trained and has fought on previous Gladius cards. Two top camps; two tough fighters.
Also on the Amateur card, North Country locals AJ Davis (2-1, Team Kaze) and Cody Haas (0-0, independent) will represent the great city of Berlin. Williams tells me that AJ just graduated from Plymouth State University, where he wrestled. AJ now lives and works in the Berlin, NH area. AJ will be facing Jiu-Jitsu Nation Welterweight and Marc Stevens’s teammate Roger Williams, who is making his debut.
Cody Haas trains independently under former World Karate Champ Dick Kimber. A recent graduate of Berlin High School, Cody is primarily a striker. He is just 18 years old making his MMA debut! Cody will face Ultimate Athletics Corey Kennerson, who also will be making his MMA debut.
In addition to Taylor Trahan, Team Link North has several other fighters on the card. Whitefield, NH’s Austin Pilotte brings a 2-1 Amateur record to the cage to face Plattsburgh, NY Featherweight Frank Palumbo. Austin lost his first fight in 2009, but is on a recent two fight win streak. Lyndonville, VT Featherweight Dylan Giroux lost his first fight in January of this year, but is was chosen as Fight of the Night; Dylan is now 0-1 and looking to bring home his first win on June 29th. Another Link North Fighter, Vermonter Mike Ruetz, will make his Amateur debut at 170 pounds when he faces Ultimate Athletics Rob Brown.
In addition to AJ Davis, Team Kaze has Lucas Veilette, a 19 year old from Topsham, VT, who will be making his MMA debut in Berlin. Lucas comes from a Karate background. Lucas will face Team Bombsquad’s Rob Solverson, who sports a 1-2 record.
Plattsburgh Combat sports bring two fighters east to New Hampshire on June 29th. Zach Ayotte (1-3) will look to earn his second win against Dylan Giroux’s in the Featherweight fight. Also, tough wrestler Frank Palumbo (4-3) will look to spoil local favorite Austin Pilotte’s homecoming. Don’t be fooled by Palumbo’s three losses; they have come against John Green, Matt Durling, and Travis Garrett, who have a combined Amateur records of 15-0!
For information on and tickets to the event, visit Gladius Promotions.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports